“The severance package will be emailed to your personal address.” One sentence transforms Kris Wright’s career and life.
Kris is a middle-aged professional woman employed in the eyewear industry. She is at the top of her game, but then her worst fear is confirmed with a phone call. She has lost her job. What does she do now? Gail Reitenbach has written a compelling novel based on realistic scenarios in her latest book, Optics: A Novel about Women and Work and Midlife Muddles.
The story began slow, but then gained ground and momentum. I commiserated with Kris when she was made redundant because that is my worst fear. Kris belongs to a supportive friends group, the G7s, but in an unexpected turn, one of the members suddenly passes away. She leaves her friends seed money to begin their own endeavors. I liked the plans the women made with the money due to their creativeness and innovativeness. Each plan illustrated their individual personalities.
The two main characters, Kris and Diana, who was also let go from the same company, have a lot of personal growth and development. I admired Kris’ drive and ambition. I loved how she exacted revenge against her former boss, Roger. Every woman who has endured a chauvinistic boss has probably fantasized about a similar opportunity. One of the best parts was how Diana wreaked her own retaliation against Roger. The scene was classic, satisfying, and original.
Optics is an appropriate title. Although the narrative revolves around an eyewear business, it is also a story about eye-opening experiences. The characters begin to view their potential and start to examine themselves and determine their own paths as changes occur. The main characters see the world with fresh new perspectives. It was inspiring and invigorating to read about enterprising women who redefine and recreate their lives.